Where Ya Been?

Hello everyone! Sorry for the time between posts. I've been very busy indeed. I've been working on a lot of my freelance art, and I've been busy at my new part time gig, at UPS, for the holidays.

In Air-Heart news, I scrapped all of my thumbnails. I know what you're thinking - what's wrong with you?! - but, believe me it's all for the best. I've decided to man up and get my hands dirty on this one, and write the entire story out in its entirety, full script.

There are so many things that I wanted to do in my first book, so many ideas I had looking back, that I feel like I could have done if only I'd written the script out in full form. Doing so allows such a tighter control of each and every detail of the work. I hate that it's going to delay me a bit, but the end product will be so much better because of it.

That said I don't have artwork to share with you just yet, but be sure some new stuff will be coming soon. Not to be too boring, I've included a picture of a banner that I designed for UPS today.

That's all for now, more soon.


Dr. Thyme

Hello once again. This time, I'd like to amuse you with a character concept brought about from an idea suggested to me by my friend Bruce. This is Dr. Thyme, an absent minded professor travelling back through time in the Air-Heart world to right some wrongs of the future. Absent minded professors being bad, it's even worse when one is in charge of a fact finding mission through time!

I love the concept of the character and I already have a plot suited to him for a future Air-Heart book, the only issue? I already have plans for the book after Return of The Skyrates. That means that poor old Dr. Thyme will have to wait a whole other book from now! But that's ok, being that he's a time traveler  he could easily make a cameo now without any continuity issue... hmm... Ideas!

All of that business aside, work is still continuing on ROTS regardless of illustration and storyboarding gigs. Everything is coming along well, if not a little slowly. I still haven't quite put the finishing touches on the storyboards, but I'm getting awfully close to the finish line.

In other news, here are the growlers I made mention of just a few posts ago! As I said before, they were done for a local craft beer market called Blind Murphy. You may recall the sketch from before, but these are the finished product. As you can see, some of the bad boys are even signed! If you're aching to get one and you're local to Alpharetta, GA then I urge you to stop by the store and pick one up. If not, then just send me an e-mail and we can work out a deal. They're about $5 / a piece I believe. You can of course e-mail me using the link provided in the top right corner of the website. Also be sure to check out their website at Blind Murphy.

Well folks, that's about all the update I have for you at the moment, but be sure to check back again soon for more on Air-Heart as well as my other projects!

A Storm Is Coming...
Welcome back to the blog. I'm sorry that it's been a little while, I've been pretty busy working on my freelance gigs, and I haven't had as much time to devote to Air-Heart as I normally would. That said, here's a brand new image I worked up for Return of The Skyrates. I was only aiming to come up with a decent teaser image for the site, but I may consider this becoming the cover of the book after seeing how it turned out. In the image you can see that Amelia is surrounded by the return of Cole, leader of The Skyrates. I'm also thinking that this would make a great poster to advertise the upcoming new book, so I may rework it for that purpose soon.

Today I have another day off, so it's a great chance to get caught up on the thumbnails for the book. I'm hoping that I can get close to finishing them. The closer I get to starting the inking process, the more pumped I'm getting. I've been really looking forward to creating some finished pages again. I love the thumbnails process and sketching in general, but there's something very satisfying about putting together a fully finished piece. As I work on the thumbnails, I find myself getting excited about drawing some of the ideas I'm coming up with. There are a couple of pages in particualr that I'm really looking forward to.

That's about all the update I have right now, hit me up in the comments section, I'd love to hear your reaction to the new poster. Hopefully I'll be able to put up another post in the next couple of days once I have all of the thumbnails finished. Wish me luck!


Blind Murphy / Thumbnails

Blind Murphy rocks out
Hey everyone!
So, where the heck have I been? Well, as you may know, I was in the process of relocating Skyland Studios. It was a long and arduous journey, but at long last it's complete and I'm starting to get settled into my new space. I've been up to a lot since I last "blogged" including being chosen to do some artwork for an awesome local business called Blind Murphy, a craft beer market in Alpharetta, Georgia. The image to the left is the first in what I hope becomes a plethora of designs for the store's beer growlers (refillable bottles). The image features their main character, Blind Murphy, jamming out on guitar and generally being awesome. Be sure to click on their website to check the place out, and if you live anywhere near the area, you really have to check it out in person. This image should wind up on a real live bottle within the next couple of weeks. When it does, I'll be sure to let you know right here on the good 'ol blog.

Lots o thumbs
Here they are! At long last, some thumbnails. I'm sure there are many of you out there asking why I don't make these larger for you to look at in depth. What, ya wanna spoil the whole story!? No, in all seriousness, the thumbnails are designed to lay out the whole story for me visually, from start to finish. In essence, when I'm done I can read the story all the way through and make decisions about pacing. This becomes all the easier because I can see the big picture of my story, rather than getting lost scene by scene. In my opinion, there's a tendency to focus too much on a scene or particular detail of the plot if you don't work through the whole story. Once you have everything laid out, however, things become a bit clearer. It's the same concept as creating a mural, where one needs to step back and see the whole piece from time to time to get perspective on the whole. At this point, I have about 40 pages worth of thumbnails completed with more on the way. I'm pretty sure that I'll wind up somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 pages when I finish, but then I'll go back through and make edits. In the editing process, I'm mostly checking for pacing and flow. Does the story spend too much time in one scene? Does the story miss an opportunity for a character developing moment? These are the kinds of questions I try to ask myself during the editing process. I'm hoping to finish the entirety of the thumbnails by the end of this month if not much sooner. As always, I'll keep you posted on my progress.

By the way! Have you all noticed the brand new "About Air-Heart" tab at the top of the page? Check it out, especially if you're new to the site, the page covers all the info you need to know on who's who in Avion. It's a great way to get caught up on the world of Air-Heart, and possibly figure out what the heck it is I'm talking about! More soon...


Don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

New Headquarters!

Sorry about the long wait. If you've been following our Facebook and Twitter pages, then you're probably already aware that I've been relocating Skyland Studios over the past few weeks. It's been an exhausting experience, but the change is for the better. The new place has a much better studio area for me, and a wonderful view to boot. I'm looking forward to getting everything organized in the new space.

So, what's been going on since I last posted? Well, quite a lot. I've been sketching every day, and working on things for the new book, as well as potential sequels. Case in point, the pic for this post is of Joey and a new character, Kit (inspired by an existing character from my friend Bri!). Kit is a feisty feline with hardcore hand to hand combat skills. She's also pretty keen on our favorite hare, although he's a little too shy to reciprocate. I'm hoping to include her in the new book.

As for the book itself, I still haven't gotten to the thumbnails. I'm really bummed about it, but you have to do what you have to do, and moving took precedence  That said, I'm just about at the point where I can get refocused and start doing some serious work on it. I'm really excited to begin the process, because I still only have a vague idea of how long this thing is going to turn out to be. I'm excited to see what the final page count will be, and to see my ideas come to life. I think the thumbnailing stage is one of my favorite parts of the process because it's where all of the discovery and problem solving take place.

In other news, I had the chance to check out Looper today. I liked the concept right from the start, but I wasn't sure how well the whole thing was going come together. I was pleasantly surprised! The movie was very interesting, and explored a lot of different themes and character aspects, and kept the whole "sci-fi future world" stuff on the back burner. So many times movies like this get too wrapped up in creating glamorous CGI settings, and miss the story - completely the reverse here. It was a real pleasure to watch. The only thing that threw me off, was the use of makeup to try to make JGL look more like Bruce Willis. I found myself wondering why they cast two different actors at all. I think there was an opportunity here to challenge an actor to play both the young and old versions of himself, and pull the whole thing together with an awesome old age makeup... But what do I know, maybe that would have sucked. Regardless, the movie was an enjoyable ride with an intriguing storyline. Check it out if you have a chance.

Well friends, that's about it for this edition. Here's hoping that next time around I'll have some thumbnails to show you. If not, I still have a backlog of sketches that I'd like to share, so either way there's gunna be some fun new stuff for you to check out. Be good, and don't do drugs!


From The Edge Of The World...

Hello once again. This week I'm writing you from the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks, in North Carolina. As I had mentioned last week, I wasn't sure what my Internet access would be, but as it turns out the house we're staying in features all the modern convinces one could ask for.

This week's drawing is a sketch right out of my personal sketchbook, featuring a poster like design of Amelia and Cole. I'm still really liking the design I've arrived at for Cole, he looks menacing, but has an experienced look about him gained from all of his years on the battle field. I think this image also shows off the stylistic changes I've made to Amelia, who I think is looking kinetic and edgy.I may wind up fully finishing this one when I get back home to my studio. You'll have to forgive the shotty digital reproduction, I only had my cell phone camera available to get the image up online.

Even though I'm on vacation, I've been taking time out to work on Air-Heart and think about the plot of the book. At this point I'm awaiting some reviews on my plot outline before I move forward to the thumbnail stage. Last time around, I didn't wait to get feedback before moving ahead, and I regretted it a little bit, as the comments that I received would have caused me to change a few things, so this time around, I'm waiting it out.

Lastly, we're celebrating my Mom's 50th birthday, so feel free to send your birthday thoughts and wishes as well. I'll post again when I get back to the mainland, hopefully with some thumbnails. In the meantime, sound off in the comments section below!


Villain Spotlight: Cole

The menacing Cole
Hey Air-Heads!
I hope all is well with ye. I've been quite the busy bee this week getting ready for vacation, and unexpectedly getting ready to move as well! It's been quite the week as you might imagine. All of that aside, I crammed in some time to stay focused on Air-Heart. Most notably I hammered out the concept sketches for Cole over here. The finished image to the left is the fully realized final design in action.

Cole was the leader of The Skyrates during the war when Amelia was just a child. He was a terrible dude, guilty of destroying many a skyland in his day. He's about to come back in a huge way for the new book, tentatively titled "Return Of The Skyrates." With Cole back in action, you can bet the The Skyrates are going to be a force to reckon with once again, and with all of the personal drama Amelia has tied up with their organization, things are about to get heavy.

Interestingly enough, Cole is actually one of the first villains I ever designed for Amelia to combat. Through some odd circumstances, however, I could never find the right story to bring him in on. At long last, largely owing to the fact that this book will be in a longer full-story format, Cole is about to have his day in the sun. I always wanted to make sure that when I finally told a story with Cole, that it was heavy-hitting and full of drama and personal baggage for Amelia, and I think I've finally reached that platform with Return Of The Skyrates. I'm incredibly excited about giving him his due, and I'm going to strive to make sure that I give him plenty of room to shine and kick butt. Good news for you, but very bad news for our favorite pilot.

On a more general story note, I've finished up the detailed scene outline and I'm awaiting some reviews before I move forward to the thumbnail stage. I'm very happy with the direction that things are headed in, and I can't wait to start the visual part of the process to see what inspiration will conjure up.

That's about all for now my friends, I'll be MIA for about a week while I try to relax at the beach. If I can I'll drop you a line... Until then!


Scripting It!

the full script in all its glory
Air-Heads! (Nick name for fans of Air-Heart?)
Welcome to another all-new edition of the same old blog. As I mentioned last time, I'm in the scripting phase of the new book. That being the case I thought that I would share a little bit of my writing process with you. To the left you can see what will mostly likely be the full script for the entire story. Say what?! It's only one page long man! It's true. I am just not a full-script kind of guy, sure I've worked from a full-script in the past, but seeing as I'm an artist first and a writer second, I find myself wanting to keep the spontaneity of working in a more visual way. Baring that in mind, my script (blurred out to prevent spoilers) is only one page long. On it I specify a few essential things such as; the principal characters involved in the story, the motives of said characters, a break down of the acts and plot, subplot and designs I'll need to develop for the story.

Having completed this "micro-script" I'm just about ready to start working on some thumbnails. The only thing stopping me is that while this script provides an overview of all of the most important information, what it doesn't cover is what each scene will be about. I usually create another one or two page document in which I break down the story just a bit further into the individual scenes that make it up, so that I can make sure I have a clear direction and pacing before I start sketching out my ideas. Otherwise the artist in me will just go wacky trying to cram every visual idea in my head into every scene.

So, as it stands right now, I'm about to start working on the scene breakdown. After that I'll be able to break out the pens and pencils and start thumbnailing away. You can expect to start seeing some drawing for the book coming up very soon. If all goes well I should be sketching by the next time I post. The story is coming together slowly but surely, and I'm ironing out some of the issues I was having earlier on. It's a challenging process as always, but the payoff is oh so sweet.

Well, that's about it for this time, check back soon to find out the latest! Also don't forget to like us on facebook (Air-Heart) and follow us on twitter at @airheartcomic!


The Poster, Posts A Poster

click for larger view
Hey peeps! As promised, new artwork! It's been far too long as I'm sure most of you know. This image is a trinity of Amelia, Joey and Cap. If you've been following Air-Heart for a while, you may notice a few of the subtle costume changes and stylistic improvements. I'm shooting for a slightly more streamlined look along the lines of one of my biggest idols Bruce Timm. If you're unfamiliar with him, check him out now! In some of my more recent work I felt that I was going a bit overboard with details and ultimately setting myself back as far as productivity is concerned. Coinciding with my "fresh start" I'm trying to get back to the swift lines and less is more style that got me excited about working on Air-Heart in the first place. React with comments below if you like!

Regarding the development of the next Air-heart book, I'm currently in the writing / planning stage of the process. I have a solid direction for the story, but I'm working on narrowing down the specifics and getting everything organized. At this point, I'm still not certain if I'm going to work full-script or from a tighter outline. The writer in me would definitely like to explore the possibilities of dialogue that come out of scripting a story from top to bottom, but the artist in me would rather work looser and focus on letting the story develop organically. It's a bit of an internal struggle at the moment, but I feel like the answer will fall somewhere in the middle. The plot is also a bit up in the air as I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate all of the elements that I'd like to see come together in the new book. There are certain characters and plot points I'd really like to explore, but sometimes those things can be crammed in to the detriment of the story. I want to walk the line between cool action, interesting character development, and a concise story. It's an interesting adventure to be sure, and one I'm looking forward to exploring further in the months to come.

Before I go, a quick reminder to leave a comment below if you have a chance, I always love hearing from the people!  Lunch is calling so I'll leave you for now, more as it develops!


A Fresh Start

So... It's been an incredibly long time since I've dusted off the old blog. For those of you who may not recall, a while back I started a Kickstarter project for the next Air-Heart book. Unfortunately, the project did not raise enough funds to be supported, and I never really moved forward with that book. There was a good period of time where I felt let down and disappointed about that result, and it kept me from producing work.

Fast forward a few months, and I'm at my best friend's wedding, and recieveing a ton of questions from people regarding my artwork. Sometimes it takes some outside interest for you to find your spark again. After thinking it over for some time, I think I'm finally ready to start moving forward once again. I have a clear idea of what I want to do next with Air-Heart, but I want to take my time so that the project can really shine before I make it public. That said, you can be sure you'll find character sketches and updates here on the site in the months to come. I won't make any promises about the frequency of the updates just yet, but I think I'm aiming for once a week...let's say Monday's perhaps? No matter what happens next in the evolution of the next book, you can be sure that you'll hear about it here on the site as it happens.

To give you some idea of where I'm headed, you can expect to see the following featured in the new installment:
  • a single "feature-length" story
  • redeveloped character designs
  • continuity starting from the new book forward!
More soon... I will warn you, since I'm getting going on this whole journey again, I'm apt to overpost for a little while at first, but that just means more awesome content for you!